Topping-off ceremony

Virginia: Rivers Casino Portsmouth celebrates construction milestone ahead of planned early 2023 opening

Construction ceremony for Rivers Casino Portsmouth on Tuesday.
Reading time 2:06 min

Virginia’s upcoming $300 million-plus Rivers Casino Portsmouth, scheduled to open in early 2023, celebrated Tuesday a new construction milestone with a topping-off ceremony. Steel framing for the new gaming and entertainment complex on Victory Boulevard has now been completed.

At the topping-off ceremony, held in the morning, a Rivers-yellow steel beam -signed by the Ballard-Yates construction teams, Rivers Casino Portsmouth leadership, and local officials- was raised against a backdrop of celebratory music and hoisted into place.

The beam marks a significant construction milestone for the property since its groundbreaking in December 2021. The raising ceremony featured remarks from Senator L. Louise Lucas; Portsmouth Mayor Shannon Glover; Roy Corby, General Manager, Rivers Casino Portsmouth; and Justin Ballard, S.B. Ballard Construction Company (Ballard-Yates).

Rivers Casino Portsmouth's groundbreaking in December 2021

“We began moving dirt and setting the stage less than a year ago, and we are making great progress,” said Justin Ballard, S.B. Ballard Construction Company, at the ceremony. “Despite supply chain disruptions caused by the pandemic, we are still on track to complete this project early 2023.”

The new project is set to feature a casino, a BetRivers Sportsbook, premier restaurants, a live entertainment lounge, a hotel, and an event center. It is expected to bring about 1,300 new permanent jobs and approximately 1,400 construction jobs to the area.

Ballard-Yates shares our commitment to high-quality construction and timely delivery of Portsmouth’s state-of-the-art casino, and we thank the entire construction team for their continued hard work and partnership as we make steady progress toward opening,” said Roy Corby, General Manager, Rivers Casino Portsmouth.

Rendering for the upcoming casino

After the ceremonial beam was bolted into place, Rush Street Gaming, the developer and operator of Rivers Casino Portsmouth, hosted an appreciation lunch for the entire construction crew, a press release says.

“This is truly an exciting time for the citizens of Portsmouth - particularly as it relates to job growth and the overall economic vitality of our great city,” Portsmouth Mayor Shannon Glover said in December. “We are pleased to also create new business opportunities and introduce an entirely new industry to Portsmouth.”

The ceremony on Tuesday follows a recent announcement from Rivers Casino Portsmouth of a series of five job fairs, one per month, over the next five months, starting May 12 at Tidewater Community College’s Portsmouth Campus. The first job fair will focus on table games and dealer school training. 

Rivers Casino Portsmouth will be Rush Street Gaming’s seventh ground-up casino development. Currently, the company operates full-service destination casinos in Illinois, Pennsylvania, and New York. The entertainment venue will generate an estimated $16.3 million in new annual tax revenue for the City of Portsmouth.

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